Bubbly Naughtiness and a Cannibal Dwarf


Yesterday I was reading the post, The Naked and the Read, at Bookslut and was reminded of  my recent reading of William Hjortsberg’s novel Alp.

Alp is a campy, twisted novel of an imaginary Swiss resort, in which Playboyesque (or perhaps Benny Hill) shenanigans run amok. But the naughtiness is bubbly and carefree in the way the Bookslut post decribes old Playboys from the ’60s and ’70s, not very sordid at all.

(I once had an rare book dealer give me a bound collection of Playboys from that carefree era — part of a library collection from an estate sale — and the Bookslut post is right, those old issues had sexier, less self-conscious pics. I had to take the collection, by the way, to save the souls of the teenage boys in the book dealer’s church youth group.)

Alp’s twisted humor is fun. How can you not like a book that has a cannibal dwarf who wants to breed captive humans (two nuns and a stranded honeymooner, specifically) as livestock? Or a half-page aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaugh! as the honeymooner Howard tumbles from the resort’s malfunctioning teleferique?

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